Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Dinner

What do you normally have on Easter?  I don't think we have a set dinner plan.  Some years we have people over some years we have been invited to dinner.  This year, it is just us.

Easter Dinner at the Czepinski's 2011
Honey Baked Ham ~ enough for sandwiches for snacks later
Deviled eggs
Brussels Sprouts & bacon
Roasted Carrots
Rolls with honey butter
Arnold Palmer Tea ~ homemade not the fake stuff
Carrot Cake

HE IS RISEN  Hallelujah

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Week in review & What's for dinner?

What has your week looked like?  It has been a rainy week here but the garden and flowers sure have enjoyed it.  Since we were stuck inside I got to get caught up on transplanting the seedlings.  

It's a messy job.  I have 30 tomato plants this year, but I don't think I will have enough room for them all.  There are 15 San Marzano and 15 Brandywine.  I got most of my seeds from High Mowing Seeds.  They sell organic and unusual seeds.

Then it was on to soap making and wrapping.  I like how these wrappers turned out.  My hope is to have 2 news varieties each week to showcase.  But that is if the business goes well.  I have several friends ordering but I need to branch out a little bit and am not sure how to do that.  I started a facebook page for the soap, it is a public page so stop by.  It's called Hen and Chicks Soap. 

Well the rest of the chicks arrived and settled into their home which already included 14 other chicks.  They did well and as of yet we have not noticed any major pecking order business going on. 

Threatened breed~Buttercups

Araucana~Easter Eggers

Black Australorps

Golden Laced Wyandottes

New Hampshire Red~not my pick but she and the other lonely bird were the only ones left so I got them.

White Rock~the other lonely one

Plymouth Rocks

Silver Laced Wyandottes

Pizza is for dinner again this week, yes it is one of those weeks where pizza is the ONLY thing that will do!  This time it is Baked Potato Pizza.  Make the crust as before but for the base you make mashed potatoes the way you like them and not boxed either!  Spread that as your "sauce"  top with cooked diced bacon, chopped chives and a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  When cooked drizzle with a bit of thinned out with water, sour cream.

Still reading Isaiah and wanted to remind myself of this again today as I wait for my future:

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait on Him!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shepherd's Pie Cook~Along

Shepherd's Pie

Brown 11/2 lb grass fed ground beef with 1 red onion chopped.

Add 12oz. chopped mushrooms.

Cook until everything is done and browned.

Add a big splash of Bragg's or other soy sauce, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, basil & 2 cloves garlic minced.  When mixed add about 1/4 c flour.  Let cook about 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.  Add a mix of rice milk (or other dairy product of choice) and chicken broth to make a gravy.

Nice gravy consistency.  Now pour into a casserole dish and top with cooked carrots or peas.

Carrots this time but peas are in the garden growing!

Now for the potatoes.  Boil enough potatoes to top the casserole dish.  You always need more then you think.  When done add milk, salt & pepper and fresh butter.  Top beef & gravy mixture.

Cook at 350 until golden brown about 30-45 minutes.

Serve with a fresh salad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden Update #1

This is our spinach that is growing!  A few more weeks and we will be having fresh spinach salads.  How thankful it makes you feel.

Things that are in the ground as of today:
25 strawberry plants
4 blueberry bushes ~ 2 types
carrots ~ 3 types
red & yellow onions

Things that are started indoors and growing:
sprouting broccoli
kuri squash
spaghetti squash
butternut squash

I only plan on buying a few kale and swiss chard plants.  I didn't want to buy a whole pack of seeds for just a few plants.

"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease."

(Genesis 8:22).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baby girls are here!

Baby chicks arrived Friday afternoon!  We have been having so much fun watching them and holding them.  They already have their own temperaments.  Enjoy!  I will post individual pictures later this week with their names and behaviors. 

First drink of water, so important after being shipped UPS.

This was their first brooder.  Until they started jumping up on the edge already!  This was suppose to last at least a week!

Silver Laced Wyandottes.

Threatened Buttercups sleeping!

New home.  Aren't they cute?


Mix 1 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp yeast in a big bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Mix in 3 1/2 cups of flour and knead by hand until smooth about 5 minutes. 

 Cover and let rest until doubled.

Stretch dough for pan and top with olive oil, garlic, red onion salt & pepper.

Add roasted chicken in bite size chunks and cooked bacon if you remember to pull it out of the freeze!

Mozzarella cheeeeessee.

Bake at 400 until dough is done and cheese is browned.  Top with ranch or BBQ sauce.


Sneaking a bite!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Look in the Mirror

I know as I type this and think of how to put it in words I might get a few who think, well that boy was mocking his own mother, how awful.  Please know that is NOT the truth.  As I am trying to be humble, because I hate to be humbled, I want to leave a record for myself to what I am learning.  Since this is my blog I tend to write more here than on paper.  I know, not that much!  And since it is my blog I want to be honest and sometimes my life is ugly.

Today I am cold.  The sun is shining and it is warming up outside.  I have already had windows open at our house a handful of times already this spring.  I actually sit down to plan my lessons for tomorrow co-op and turn on the fireplace.  As I head to the upstairs bathroom excited that since the fireplace has been on and heat rises the bathroom should be nice and toasty. 

Until I start walking upstairs and I feel cold air.  My first thought is oh no, I hope that heater isn't shutting down on us.  I get to the thermostat and it reads 66.  Which in our house is warm.  I look at both ends of the house and windows are open!  What!?  "Who opened up the windows!"  "I have the heat on up here!"  Of course the boys are downstairs so they don't quite hear WHAT I am saying, they only know I am yelling.  So I yell again, "Who opened up these windows?" 

Now, understand I KNOW who opened them, I know whose bedrooms they are after all.  Understand my boys are looking forward to being out in the wonderful weather today before the next few days of rain come.  Understand my boys are appreciating the day God has given and seeing good.  Now understand my pride, my foolishness, my greed and my wicked yelling is not good.

My humorous son, runs upstairs and says, "I did mom."  He was laughing and yelling and mocking my voice.  Mocking my voice, not me.  All I could do is laugh.  Thank you so much God for gently showing me myself in the mirror.  Thank you God for letting my children see me TRY and be humble.

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Lasagna ~ a new favorite

Every year for birthdays the honored person chooses what is on the menu for the night.  Every year Dalton, my oldest chooses BBQ chicken, green beans, corn and apple pie.  Every year.  This year he says, "I want something different."  He loves spaghetti so I suggest Lasagna. 

Lasagna Cook~A~Long

Brown in a sauce pot:
1 pound (450 g) of sweet Italian sausage-uncased

1 pound (450 g) of ground beef
1/2 cup (120 mL) of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped

Add the following:

1 (28 ounce) (784 g) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) (230 g) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) (168 g) cans of tomato paste
1/2 (120 mL) cup of water
Gently stir this into the cooking meat.

Add seasonings:
2 tablespoons (30 mL) white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fennel seed
2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh Basil leaves chopped
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground pepper

Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours on low.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

23 ounces (644 g) of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) fresh grated nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Soak 12 lasagna noodles.
The lasagna noodles need to be soaked in hot tap water for 15 minutes.

Now we start building the lasagna layers.

Use a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Spread 2 Cups (480 mL) of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Remove your lasagna noodles out of the water bath. Shake water off wet noodles.

Lay 6 noodles across the layer of sauce.
Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles.

Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer.

Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer.

Spread 2 cups (480 mL) of meat sauce over the cheese layer

Lay down the next layer of noodles
Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over noodles
Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses saving some cheese for the top of the lasagna
Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheeses
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Cover with foil.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 F (177 C) for 25 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes.

Ingredient List
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 Cup of Water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 lasagna noodles
–Serves 12 people–

Death by the sword

Isaiah in light of searching for building up and tearing down the heart speaks to me this morning. 

Isaiah 1:19-20 says:
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 

Do all who refuse and rebel die by the sword?  What is that sword?  Can it mean anything that brings death?  For me the sword I hand to my children are my words, my attitude, my impatience, my way of doing things, my inattentive ear. 

Isaiah 2:4-5 says:
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

I love how God leads.  I love how He teaches us to walk in His paths.  When we do, He can turn those swords (words & actions that kill) into plowshares and pruning hooks.  Only He can bring life to death!

Praise Him, oh how I need to walk in His light today!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Stop and think about letting the punishment fit the crime today.  Another thing that stood out to me this weekned.  When we repent God does not say okay after you sit in your bedroom for an hour or sit in time out.  He does not because that would be looking away from us.  He does not banish us from his presence.  Our children don't need to be away from us.  Some parents and I myself included have said but I need time away from him.  That is a lie!  We need to repent and be restored.  They need to feel close to us not away. 

So today when you are discipling your child and you want to send them to bed early, rethink that so they are still with you.  Don't banish them from your prescence.

Isaiah, Homeschool Convention & the heart - the connection

What does Isaiah, Cincinnati's Homeschool Convention and the heart all have in common?  Well they are all in my thoughts this morning.  Before leaving for the convention I began another study in the book of Isaiah.  Another because it is one of my favorite books and it is quite heavy for me.  I went back to the first chapter just so I could start fresh after a long weekend at Cincinnati's homeschool convention.  There are so many things swirling around in my head it will take weeks to think them all through.  But what theme we heard over and over was how God judges the heart and behavior is just a manifestation of what is in our heart.  Heart is where we change for good or bad.  Heart is what helps us think through parenting and correction.  If we choose to stop and think about it.  I will admit I often deal with behavior and not the heart and punish according to what the behavior brought about.  My heart is heavy and hurt this morning.  I have a son who is just like me.  I have a son that I deal with his outward behavior instead of his heart.  That is hard for me.  I want to be right.  He wants to be right.  These are both wrong!  My need to be right and heard is a sin!  I can not help him until I get help.  So as I read Isaiah 1 today what stood out to me last week isn't what stood out to me today. 

Isaiah 1:5-6(ESV)
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.

I have a lot of pressing out, bounding up and softening with oil to do around here!

Father your eyes search for who's hearts belong to you to support them, I need your support.